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Dave Epstein

Take advantage of sun this weekend — daylight hours are shrinking

Highs on Sunday will be around 50 degrees.
Highs on Sunday will be around 50 degrees.NOAA

Overall, the weather is really going to cooperate over the post-Thanksgiving weekend.

Average temperatures this time of the year are generally in the mid- to upper-40s, meaning if we reach even the 50-degree mark, it’s above average.

The average high for the final days of November is around 47 degrees.
The average high for the final days of November is around 47 degrees.NOAA Data

Although we have sunshine in the forecast, the amount of total daylight continues to shrink as we rapidly head towards our earliest sunset of the year.

We have about another 19 minutes of daylight to lose in the next three weeks, and our sunsets are only two minutes off their earliest times. For you morning folks, the 7 a.m.-hour sunrises will return Dec. 7 and last nearly all of January, even as the afternoons turn slowly brighter. The least amount of time between sunrise and sunset occurs on Dec. 21.

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This chart shows the times the sun is expected to rise and set in Boston in December.
This chart shows the times the sun is expected to rise and set in Boston in December. Timeanddate.com

With the pandemic, a majority of people are no longer commuting in the dark, sitting in artificial light all day, and then heading home after sunset. This year, on a sunny day, you’re able to get outside even for 15 or 20 minutes to take a walk and expose yourself to the sun.

Your circadian rhythms, melatonin, and other internal hormones are affected by daylight. It’s just logical that if you never really get out in the light, it’s going to start to impact how you feel. Exposing yourself to the sun helps your body make vitamin D and strengthens the immune system, something everyone could use a bit of with the pandemic.

This weekend you should be able to take advantage of several hours of sunshine with highs within a couple of degrees of 50. Sunday seems like a sunnier day to me before a rain event arrives on Monday. Then, much of next week looks quite nice, although more seasonable, with highs in the 40s.